Saturday, 6 March 2021

create escape

With an expertly spliced narration from Bob Ross’ own affirming Joy of Painting, Banksy (see previously) shares the making of his latest mural of a jail-break taking place on the walls of Her Majesty’s Prison in Reading where Oscar Wilde was incarcerated for the crime of gross indecency with the poet scaling the outer wall with knotted bedding anchored by a typewritten manuscript and typewriter.

“But we who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.  We have nothing else to think of.  Suffering―curious as it may sound to you―is the means by which we exist, because it is the only means by which we become conscious of existing; and the remembrance of suffering in the past is necessary to us as the warrant, the evidence, of our continued identity,” said Wilde of his time behind bars. The prison confirms that the graffiti will be a permanent feature as the artist claims the work as his own.

lone gunman

Awarded a contract to conserve and present the twenty-seven home movie filmed by Abraham Zapruder (previously) of the Kennedy assassination due to his experience and expertise in converting eight-millimetre footage into theatrical quality video, processing film for the 1969 documentary on Woodstock, technician and author Robert J. Groden (*22 November 1945) became obsessed with conspiracy theories (self-fulfilling in part for feeling persecuted and censored for doing what’s to follow) surrounding the president’s murder, going on to become a photographic consultant for a House Select Committee on political assassinations and a vocal critic of the Warren Commission, first had a national venue with the first televised presentation of the Zapruder film on this day in 1975. Appearing opposite comedian and activist Dick Gregory on a show called Good Night America, hosted by Geraldo Rivera (*4 July 1943) whose more celebrated expose was the empty vaults of gangster Al Capone, Groden shared his personal, unauthorised copy of the film, marking the first time general audiences saw it in full.

your daily demon: seere

Ruling from today to the tenth of March and into Pisces, this seventieth spirit is an infernal prince that presents as a man astride a flying steed. The first demon we’ve encountered described specifically as benevolent and having no truck with evil, Seere is a master of transportation and can appear anywhere on Earth in a matter of seconds and reveals hidden treasure. Governing twenty-six legions, Seere is opposed by the angel Jabamiah, whose corresponding invocatory verse is Genesis Book I, Chapter I.

Friday, 5 March 2021

i feel like singing a plot shanty

Originally lampooned by Mystery Science Theater 3000 on this day in 1989—later reprised in season three, a high-tech crime-fighting unit is called the titular Mighty Jack is formed to fight an evil criminal syndicate called Q, which retaliates by kidnapping one of the R&D professionals called Mister Atari to learn the secrets of their hybrid vehicles that keep foiling Q’s plots for world domination. Not an actual feature film but rather a couple of episodes of a 1968 tokusatsu action television series strung together and unlike Voltron and Ultraman, received the most exposure on MST3K.


Via Futility Closet, we are treated to a composition arranged by Paramount studio photographer A. L. “Whitey” Schafer captured in 1941 in derisive protest to the Hays Code that started to be enforced in 1934—see previously. Captioned “Thou Shall Not,” the image includes all the taboos and transgressions that filmmakers could not show on the big screen until 1968 when censorship in American cinemas became a self-regulatory matter with less government interference regarding expression. Schafer received a fine and censure for entering his work in an industry candid photography contest but the satire was not lost on judge and jury.


Though already acquainted with the wonderful term and its etymology and provenance but had forgotten how the advice from the cobbler if not exactly solicited (see also) regarding painter Apellis’ depiction of Alexander the Great criticising his sandals was well received and acted upon and then went on to embolden the shoemaker to critique other parts of the painting. Speaking ‘beyond the shoe’ had placed the cobbler definitely out of his element and squandered any previous goodwill or faith the artist might have harboured for the critic.This Sutor, ne ultra credpidam proscription was an unfair invective against the engineer and craftsman , Karl Marx thought, since those individuals drove innovation (in an ideal society with division of labour, “it makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow: to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, critise after dinner—just as I have a mind without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic”), lamenting how the anecdote, fable had become idiomatic across European languages. It occurs in the English saying, “A cobbler should stick to his last”—that is the term for a wooden foot model, Pushkin’s “ะกัƒะดะธ, ะดั€ัƒะถะพะบ, ะฝะต ัะฒั‹ัˆะต ัะฐะฟะพะณะฐ”—judge not above the boot, “Zapatero, a tus zapatos—shoemaker, tend to your shoes, “Schuster, bleib bei deinem Leisten!”—stay in your lane or “Chacun son mรฉtier, les vaches seront bien gardรฉes”—to each his own profession and the cattle will be well looked after. More to explore including a compelling, complementary after though at Language Log at the link up top.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

matronym or organised kaos

The regulatory body in Iceland, Kynhlutlausa—the national naming authority (see also), in addition to approving the names Ingalรณ, Sannรฝ, Gulla, Rรณma, Bertmarรญ, Estรญva, Gulla, Lucas, Theo and Sรธren has also enacted previously passed legislation that restricts names to specific genders and allows neutral assignment and can give themselves whatever name they choose. Some resistance circulated due to grammar and standard Icelandic orthography but such differences can be set aside.

cardinal rule

Though disagreeing in principle with the way the thesis is presented and that no birds—weaponised killer drones disguised as our avian friends excepted—are garbage, this essay, via the venerable Card House, does make a compelling argument and presents solutions for the preponderance of poorly selected state symbols in America (previously) and with humour demonstrates how bestowing these honours has consequence. The vetting and the P-R process has been pretty lacking with many states choosing invasive imports, domesticated breeds, copy-cat cases of multiply mocking birds and landlocked Utah choosing the sea gull as a sign of gratitude when the birds miraculously intervened to devour a plague of locust that threatened to drive the settlers to starvation.